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another thread about my solitary ds

41 replies

MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 08:43

I've posted several times about ds and please forgive me for doing it again, only I continue to feel anxious about him.
Briefly to recap, he is an only child, a sweet and gentle,bright and happy 10 yr old - he likes school very much and is doing well in all subjects,especially creative ones but has difficulties with certain physical aspects in that he lacks co-ordination, balance and therefore finds ball games like football,catch etc difficult, and being in a playground or space with people milling around is tricky as he has difficulty judging the distances/speed of onmcoming people ! Finer motor skills tricky also,as in picking up small things,manipulating fiddly things etc. He is being given OT each week and has had help with all this throughout school.
Now he is in yr 6 I'm really worrying about his social abilities as it's important to have friendship groups for moving on the secondary school next September.
The thing is that he doesn't have friends and it pains me to admit this as it seems so odd to me,being shy but sociable !
In his previous school (we moved 2 and a half yrs ago) he had a small group of pals but tended to pick 1 particular person as a 'best' friend, but since m oving hasn't formed any bonds like this (we still keep in touch with friends from old place and he gets on really well with them when they meet)
At this school he formed a good friendship with a boy in the year above him who has now gone on to secondary - I'm encouraging this friendship to carry on and he has seen him in the holidays etc and after school, but I want him to have friends in his year.
He is quite happy as he is though and doesn't seem to worry whether he is on his own or not,which in a way makes it better as he isn't feeling sad and left out - he chooses it seems to be on his own. When he meets other children and he does get to know them he is friendly and knows how to share, be aware of how others are feeling ( in fact is hyper sensitive to how others feel - hates upsetting anyone). He is picked on in school by a group of boys who obviouisly see him as an easy target because he is different and they think he won't answer back or stand up for himself...he will,as he is quite steely underneath but fears doing the wrong thing and so holds back.
Sorry- this is long...any comfort/ideas ?

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Yvaine · 27/10/2007 08:49

If he is happy with the situation, then I would leave him be.

You could encourage extra curricular clubs and activities. I dont know why he lacks co-ordination but perhaps Judo or similar might help?

Or a chess club, or sea cadets or drama clubs etc.

I dont think you can do an awful lot at this stage to encourage friendships in his current year.

Secondary school will be much larger too, and there will be lots of opportunities (and other children in the same position as him) to make new friendships there.

Try not to worry (you said he is happy), and try not to project your fears on to him, or allow him to be aware of your anxieties.

MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 09:30

thank you yvaine - you're probsably right -I'm just feeling the anxieties! He does after school stuff - a craft club,choir and he swims once a week...I just try to e ncourage joining in more.

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 10:30

bumping this

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 11:30

just in case anyone else has some ideas !

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 13:29

...I know everyone has really offered great advice before on this subject - just having another crisis of anxiety and required bolstering !

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Celia2 · 27/10/2007 17:15

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 17:35

oh thanks Celia2 ! yes, they probably would get on ! lovely to hear that your ds has done well at sailing too

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Bocoreepy · 27/10/2007 17:44

He sounds like such a lovely boy. I can totally understand how you feel, but it does sound like these aren't his issues, they're yours (and would be mine I'm sure!)

As long as he's quite self assured and content to be on his own it sounds like he's doing great. You could invite people round and set up playdates, but it could be that this wouldn't be what he really wanted to be doing anyway and therefore a bit of a waste of time for him. The most important thing is that you've given him the confidence to be totally at ease with his own company, and doesn't need to try to fit in and be someone he's not in order to be in a group. Confidence is so attractive to other people, i bet he finds like minded people as he gets older, people who are interested in him for his creativity and sensitivity. What a lot he has going for him!

LIZS · 27/10/2007 17:46

ds is quite similar but a year younger. He seems popular in that he has soem noce firneds and they include him but he won't actively join in with them , especially in physical games. He likes climbing and may have a go at sailing next year. Very resistant to the idea of cubs or other group activities

MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 17:52

boco - thanks - that's very cheering and you're right - they are my issues rather than his - he is quite happy and agree that making arrangements for school mates to come over if that's not what he wants would be a bit pointless - he is happy to have the older friend over, so will continue to encourage that. LIZS - ds didn't want to do cubs - though he was a Beaver - that was just fun really, cubs a bit more serious !

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Niecie · 27/10/2007 18:18

My son is a bit like this and has dyspraxia so has OT as well. He too seems not bothered by being alone at playtimes although he does have friends who he plays with sometimes. He seems able to take them or leave them although I don't doubt he likes them - he is in Yr 3 and has been with them since Yr R. I ask him, sometimes, who he played with at school and some days he says he didn't play with anybody but he is just not bothered.

I suppose if our DSs aren't bothered then we shouldn't be either. It is hard to accept that they may be so different as I can't imagine being entirely happy like that. We all want our children to be popular don't we.

Have you ever spoken to the school about your concerns? I definitely would tell them about the other boys picking on him and ask how they might help him deal with them. How do the teachers find your son? Do they find him quiet and withdrawn or happy and involved? So long as he is able to join in in class and contributes and he doesn't sit in the corner and hide then he is probably OK. If not, then see if the teachers can suggest anything to make him feel more involved. They should have come across this before in school and have strategies to help. For example, in DS's school they initiate games for those who appear to be alone and try and get them to join in together.

However, if his teachers don't think he is unhappy at school and your son doesn't appear to be unhappy, I think you just have to do that impossible thing and try not to worry.

Doodledootoo · 27/10/2007 18:27

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pointydog · 27/10/2007 18:45

if he's happy and he has interests, then I really wouldn't worry if no problem exists.

Does he have any interests that have the potential to lead to friendships at high school? INstruments, sport etc?

sKerryMum · 27/10/2007 18:49

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 18:50

thanks niecie,pointydog and doodledootoo - all good points made. School is aware of my concerns and are working towards getting him interacting more. Hoping to get him started on keyboard lessons which will be good as next school,if he gets in, is music specialist school, and going to choir will help !

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 18:53

thank you skerrymum !! that's so lovely of you to say...he finds sport really tricky,but he does have a go in PE lessons - he tried tag rugby but too scary and he does swim and loves it and the OT sessions include basketball - he goes to choir and craft club too - so plenty of opportunities- guess I can't force him to be more sociable ! He just seems to have a rich inner life !

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 18:54

not diagnosed with dyspraxia but similar aspects,if that makes sense - balance,co -ordination etc -

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twentypence · 27/10/2007 18:56

It's the last year of his life that he will be expected to only make friends who are exactly the same age as him. Once he is in a choir at school he will make friends with people he likes, regardless of age.

I would question learning the keyboard if he lacks coordination though...

BeetrootMNRoyalty · 27/10/2007 19:00

Mary where is he going? Which school?

TwigorTreat · 27/10/2007 19:05

DH is a rather strange and solitary creature who does not seem to need friends .. he is also funny, incisive, loving, gentle, kind, generous, sarcastic, infuriating, lovable, quiet, confident and self-assured etc etc

the thing is I love him and we make a great family .. his odd hodpotch of friends who he has collected through his life and still remains in contact with even though they are spread around the world also do too

I am a different creature altogether and am more outwardly sociable, have larger circle of friends (but tend to lose touch with majority with distance)

I think I'm trying to say .. your DS sounds rather lovely and I think these might be your issues rather than his .. and he will be fine .. because there will always be those special people in his life .. I would be more worried about social butterflies (like me)

sKerryMum · 27/10/2007 19:46

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MaryAnnSingletomb · 27/10/2007 20:10

ds is going to the local secondary,hopefully he'll get in but it'll be quite popular. He has tried karate from when he was 4 until about 7,which surprised me ! Think he gave it up when it got a little more confrontational ! I would have thought that keyboards might be a good choice for him - I know coordination is an issue but he is very interested in electronic music and at least he wouldn't have to physically hold the instrument as you would a violin.recorder.guitar etc.

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Doodledootoo · 27/10/2007 20:28

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SoMuchToBats · 27/10/2007 20:30

Speaking as someonewho plays an instrument, I think a brass instrument might be good, as not too many tricky fingerings - it's either a slide (trombone) or just 3 valves to press with the others. Just a thought.

My ds (aged 6) is a little similar, and my sister was very like this when a child. It's a fine line really between encouraging them to join in (to ensure they fit in with friends etc) and encouraging them to be themselves (so they don't have the stress of trying to be someone they aren't). Part of me thinks why should they have to fit in with everyone else, if they are happy being the sort of person they are (and your ds sounds lovely btw). But sadly, if they remain the individual person they want to be, they often end up being picked on by less considerate children.

Niecie · 27/10/2007 20:38

I would agree with Doodledootoo - one of my DS's teachers actually suggested the keyboard as a way of improving his fine motor skills. I think it will help although I can't get him interested enough. My MIL has a keyboard he likes to play on when he's there but that hasn't whetted his appetite for lessons. He wants to play things he can blow (the flute would you believe) and I think it is harder to coordinate blowing and fingers than it is just to concentrate on using his fingers.

I have also read about boys who have done martial arts to because it helped with coordination problems too. Shame he isn't interested in it any more but I'm sure he must have got some benefit from that too.

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